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PCR Testing in Philippines
From November 2020 up to February 2022, 18,645,562 PCR tests were conducted by DOH accredited laboratories.... transfer of funds from the population and business into the hands of few...
Since early in the pandemic in the Philippines PCR testing has become a requirement for many to travel, to work, to access hospital care, and now even to access school. The test is required irrespective of symptomatology or vaccination status; testing continues even though Philippines currently has very low cases and a very low test-positivity (« 5%).
Between November 2020 and the end of February 2022 18,645,562 tests were conducted by accredited laboratories, an average of 1,165,348 tests per month. In February 2021 DOH-DTI set the cost cap on these tests at PHP3,800 for private laboratories and PHP5,000 for private laboratories. This cost has had to be paid by private individuals and businesses, a great burden when the minimum daily wage in the National Capital Region (NCR) is PHP537.00 (USD10.27), when many businesses have folded and the economic situation is quite dire. All the more coercive and cruel that DOLE has decreed that wage earners must either be vaccinated or pay for PCR testing themselves, every 2 weeks. The President has even recent mulled declaring a “State of Economic Emergency” [Ref: https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1564642] .
Monthly average test positivity ranged from about 1% in December 2021 to a peak of 38% in January of 2022, the last peak.
This testing equates to a expenditure somewhere in the range of PHP70.85 to 93.2 Billion! This is the just the cost of testing, an essentially intangible purchase, it doesn’t buy anything useful, except maybe the previously free right, no longer free or a right it seems, to access society, work, or certain services for a short period of time.
Mandated tests. Transfer of wealth from the workers to government accredited bodies. Impoverishment effectively, with little useful return. With a test that has been declared not fit for purpose, and with a high false positive rate. Who benefitted?